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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Drivelectric Kenya Shows Why You Should Be Driving An Electric Vehicle in Kenya!

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Kenya has really excelled in increasing the share of renewable energy in its electricity generation mix. A whopping 93 % of electricity generation in Kenya is from renewable energy sources. This mix includes significant contributions from wind farms, geothermal power plants, hydropower, and some utility-scale solar. In meeting its renewable energy generation targets, Kenya has found itself in an interesting position where it has excess capacity at times, especially at night when demand drops significantly as we have covered here previously

In that article, we explained why some of this clean electricity from geothermal plants’ capacity should be used to charge EVs during the night when most of these vehicles are parked anyway. There is also a booming distributed Commercial & Industrial solar market in Kenya and some of this electricity could charge EVs during the day at office parks and shopping malls. Moving to electric vehicles will have a huge impact on Kenya’s CO2 emissions as the transport sector currently accounts for 39% of CO2 emissions in Kenya.

A Nissan AD 1 300 CC Station Wagon and a 2012 24 kWh Nissan Leaf used in Drivelectric Kenya’s ICE vs EV “Fuel” Cost Comparison in Kenya over a 12 month period.

Drivelectric Kenyaa subsidiary of Knights Energy Kenyais offering Kenyans a platform to switch to electromobility. Driveelectric Kenya’s suite of services is tailored to take away the risks (both financial and technological) for its customers, who like in most parts of the world are new to the world of electric vehicles. Driveelectric provides EV Consultancy, fleet analysis services, charging station installation services, and also offers electric vehicle leasing. On the tech risks, Driveelectric installs, operates, and maintains the charging stations, taking away the risks from property owners.

The EV leasing business is really a gamechanger in this part of the world and helps take away some of risks customers may be worried about when it comes to a new technology they do not yet understand. Battery degradation and battery warranty/battery replacement fears are some the issues newbies to EVs would be most concerned about. Starting out with an EV lease goes a long way in assuring consumers and fleet operators that they won’t be left stranded with a “dead battery” after a couple of years. Even though studies have shown EV batteries can pretty much outlast the life of the vehicle, and newer EV models are now getting insane battery warranties like Toyota’s new 1 million km battery warranty on the Lexus UX300e, a lot of education is still needed across the world to help consumers switch to EVs.

One of Driveelectric Kenya’s Nissan Leafs

Getting people to switch in the long term will always come down to the money, and here at CleanTechnica we love just how the TCO calculations across several markets show how EVs rock! Now we can add some real data from an African perspective. Data is the new gold, so it is good to see Driveelectric Kenya showcasing just how good it is to drive EVs in Kenya. Drivelectric did a study over a 12-month period on the costs to drive a typical ICE vehicle in Kenya vs an EV. Although this data uses information from petrol and electricity costs from the time the study was carried out from January to December 2017, it is still representative of the current costs. In the study, Drivelectric used a 1300 cc Nissan AD Station Wagon and a 2012 24 kWh Nissan Leaf.  In the study, they used a consumption of about 180 Wh per km for the Nissan Leaf. The average cost of electricity throughout the year 2017 was ksh20.91/kWh ($0.21/kWh) and the average price of petrol was ksh106 ($1.06). The mileage was obtained by taking the statistical statements on mileage from the geosat website, a tracker company. Office petty cash books were also used to get the money spent on the cars over the year on “fueling” costs. Data was also correlated with the fuel prices over the course of the year from data published by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority of Kenya, as well as Kenya Powerfor the electricity tariffs.

Table 1 below shows the “Fuel” cost comparison for the same km driven.

MONTHDISTANCE (km)EV cost (ksh)ICE cost (kSh)
JAN267.40792.763075.10
FEB838.502550.039642.75
MAR1656.104946.3819045.15
APR928.702831.1710680.05
MAY1106.303317.2712722.45
JUN952.602864.8010954.9
JULY1291.103882.7914847.65
AUG701.102263.118062.65
SEP566.401712.536513.6
OCT977.503015.8811241.25
NOV1274.604108.7114657.9
DEC444.801459.995115.2
TOTAL11,005.1033,745.42($337,45)126,558.65($1 265,59)
AVERAGE917.092,812.12($28.12)10,546.55($105,47)

The table shows savings of about 73%! With the Nissan Leaf not requiring much maintenance in the year of the study as compared with the ICE Nissan AD, the data will look even better when one looks at the total costs including maintenance and insurance. The savings from the fuel costs alone however, clearly show how strong the value proposition is for going electric in Kenya. It’s really good and also profitable to be driving on all those very clean electrons with 93% of Kenya’s electricity coming from renewable energy sources.

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